There are few things better than getting away on a road trip with your best mates, your partner or your family; driving away from the hustle and bustle in search of adventure or relaxation.
But before you get on the road with your car packed to the brim, there are a few things you need to prepare.
At Tony Lahood Motors, we’re passionate about ensuring our customers have the best second hand cars in Australia, as well as the best advice to keep them on the road.
Here are our top 10 tips to get you ready for your next road trip.
Unfortunately accidents, breakdown situations and other issues can happy while you are on your road trip, which might eat well into your budget if you don’t prepare for them to happen.
Well before your road trip, plan out your budget and make sure to allocate some extra funds in case of emergency.
Even in the city, things can happen to your car that might require roadside assistance. However, if you are driving out in rural areas and have an accident, an encounter with a roo or just get a flat battery, having roadside assistance can be an absolute godsend.
Before you head off on your road trip, check your level of cover on your roadside assistance or insurance policy to find out what you might be covered for. Look for features like 24/7 roadside assistance, towing distances to a repairer, taxi rides and any restrictions that might be applied to your cover.
Before you take off on your road trip, it is crucial to get you car serviced to check the vital features of your car are all in good working condition.
Your mechanic should check your tyres, oil, lights, wiper blades, brakes, wheel alignment and battery condition, among other things, to make sure your car is safe on the road.
Ask your mechanic to also check your spare tyre to ensure it’s in working condition and that you have a tyre iron and jack in the car – you never know when you will need it!
From experience, we know that navigation apps on your phone have a tendency to close or stop working when you need them most. And depending on your phone coverage, you may have no phone signal as you head into regional areas either.
This means that having a physical, up to date map book - like your mum and dad, or even you used to use before the magic of smart phones – can be an important tool to help you navigate unfamiliar country roads.
Having your route planned out also means that you can plan for toilet breaks, fuel stops and lunch or dinner spots along the way.
Begin your road trip with a full tank of fuel and know the range your car can travel on that full tank. As we mentioned before, make sure to have a plan of where you can stop to fill up along the way if you need it.
If you’re planning to go really remote on your road trip, it is strongly advised that you take a jerry can with spare fuel on your trip to help you fill up between the closest fuel stations.
When we say essentials, we don’t just mean a camera to capture all the happy snaps, we’re talking a good quality first aid kit, toilet roll, phone chargers, wiper fluid, a roadside emergency kit and most importantly, snacks.
In your roadside kit, it’s important to have tools such as an air compressor with gauge, good torch, drinking water, a spare rag or microfibre cloth, booster cables, tyre jack and anything else that might help you get out of a sticky situation.
It’s not a proper road trip without a killer playlist of songs you love to sing along to.
Some of our favourites are:
The key to remember is that the passenger is the DJ, so choose your road trip buddies wisely. If you’re road tripping alone, make sure you have a hands-free Bluetooth device to control the music so that you’re not handling your phone while driving
If you are towing a trailer or caravan on your road trip, you need to perform a few extra checks to ensure the load you are towing is roadworthy and doesn’t unhitch as you drive.
Much like your car, you should have your trailers’ tyre checked, focusing on their condition and air pressure, as well as the lights and wiring that make your trailer more visible on the road.
Other aspects of the trailer such as the trailer brakes, suspension, wheel hubs, bearings and tow hitch should also be checked out by a professional to ensure they’re all in roadworthy condition.
Your licence and car registration are two components you should keep on top of year-round, but you should ensure they are up to date before a
Flashing red and blue lights behind you, coupled with a fine for unlicensed driving or driving an unregistered vehicle will bring a very abrupt end to your road trip.
While there are a number of serious things to remember when preparing for a road trip, it is also important to enjoy the journey.
Plan to stop in towns along the way and find out what the town is famous for, or check out some of the ‘big’ icons around New South Wales like the Big Potato (Robertson), The Big Prawn (Ballina) or The Big Bicycle (Chullora).
Play ‘Name that Song’, ‘Car Bingo’ or everyone’s favourite “I Spy” to keep everyone engaged as you drive along the wide open roads. For parents, a great game is ‘The Quiet Game’ – we recommend this one for when the kids have been asking “are we there yet” for half an hour straight.
Whether you need a second hand car to go four wheel driving or to tow your campervan out to a new spot, Tony Lahood Motors has you covered with an extensive range of the best second hand cars in Australia.
Head down to one of our car yards in Croydon or Lidcombe today to browse through our range of used cars or contact one of our team at Tony Lahood Motors for expert advice and old fashioned customer service.